The 2020 Marlins regular season is off to a delayed start, but technology is a beautiful thing, ain’t it? Simulation games have created alternative universes in which this much-anticipated campaign is running precisely on schedule, featuring many of the players who were projected to make an impact for the real-life Fish.
At the end of each week, I will do a roundup of how the Marlins are performing.
2020 season record: 14-14
Baseball-Reference is simulating the entire 2020 MLB schedule using the game Out of the Park Baseball 21 (OOTP 21). Results are published daily at around noon ET.
- Apr. 21—Marlins 3, Mets 10
- Apr. 22—Marlins 0, Mets 3
- Apr. 23—Marlins 3, Mets 2
- Apr. 24—Marlins 10, Cardinals 0
- Apr. 25—Marlins 0, Cardinals 2
- Apr. 26—Marlins 2, Cardinals 3
It sounds like a broken record to those of you who have been following along with Fake Baseball every week, but Miguel Rojas is exceeding all expectations in this simulation. He’s been the National League’s most productive shortstop on both sides of the ball and ranks among the NL leaders in Wins Above Replacement and batting average. What a way to justify the multi-year contract extension that the Marlins gave him last fall.
On the transactions side, Jeff Brigham has returned from his biceps injury at the expense of veteran left-hander Adam Conley, who was designated for assignment. Early next week, we will learn whether any other team claimed Conley and his $1.53 million salary off waivers.
One month into the regular season, the Marlins still haven’t been able to find a decent right fielder. Their latest stopgap candidate? Former All-Star Carlos Gómez.
The Athletic Alternate Universe
2020 season record: 11-17
Just like Baseball-Reference, staff members at The Athletic are using OOTP 21. Editor Or Moyal is serving as general manager for the Marlins.
However, their simulation began after the MLB Opening Day date and they are moving at an accelerated pace. Results for the Marlins are already available through May 27. For those who want to take a deep dive into the organization’s progress, TAAU also provides data for all Minor League Baseball affiliates.
- Apr. 21—Marlins 12, Mets 6
- Apr. 22—Marlins 1, Mets 7
- Apr. 23—Marlins 0, Mets 7
- Apr. 24—Marlins 3, Cardinals 4
- Apr. 25—Marlins 2, Cardinals 3
- Apr. 26—Marlins 6, Cardinals 13
Yikes. A 1-5 week plunges the Marlins to the NL East cellar. They put up an eight-spot in the first inning of the Mets series opener, but were outscored 40-16 over the remainder of the road trip.
Jonathan Villar (.305), Corey Dickerson (.337), Garrett Cooper (.310), Jon Berti (.308) and Rojas (.317) are all hitting above the .300 mark, with Brian Anderson and Matt Joyce close behind. Unfortunately, this pitching staff is on pace to be one of the worst in franchise history.
2020 season record: 11-17
The Strat-O-Matic 2020 Season Simulation spits outs its daily details at 2 p.m. ET.
- Apr. 21—Marlins 6, Mets 8
- Apr. 22—Marlins 4, Mets 5
- Apr. 23—Marlins 7, Mets 5
- Apr. 24—Marlins 5, Cardinals 4
- Apr. 25—Marlins 9, Cardinals 1
- Apr. 26—Marlins 1, Cardinals 6
Perhaps the top Marlins moment of the season thus far, Anderson crushed a three-run, game-winning home run Friday night off the Cardinals’ Giovanny Gallegos in the ninth inning. Ryne Stanek earned the save, seemingly displacing Brandon Kintzler from the closer’s role. Through 10 relief appearances, Stanek still hasn’t allowed any runs.
Then, the Marlins altered their starting rotation for the first time, demoting Pablo López to Triple-A and calling up Robert Dugger for his 2020 season debut. López allowed only two runs through three starts (0.90 ERA), but 17 runs over his next three (10.20 ERA) to prompt the change.
- April 28-30 vs. Mets (in Puerto Rico)
- May 1-3 vs. Pirates